July 4th will be here is a few weeks, and you may already have plans floating in the back of your mind—an outdoor barbeque with the family, fireworks with the kids, and a plethora of red, white, and blue décor. However, why not participate in something unique this year that not only occurs on the grounds of a historic location, but also features the orations of none other than lead singer/guitarist of the eponymous Dave Matthews Band.
The Fourth of July is always a particularly special day at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, as it holds an annual naturalization ceremony, and this year is the ceremony’s 51st anniversary: “There is no more inspirational place to celebrate the Fourth of July than Monticello, the home of the author of the Declaration of Independence. Since 1963, more than 3,000 people from every corner of the globe have taken the oath of citizenship at [Monticello]. It is the oldest continuous naturalization ceremony in the United States outside of a courtroom.” (Monticello.org).
Every naturalization ceremony features a well-known speaker, and this year, South-African born musician Dave Matthews will be making the presentation and perhaps sharing his own experience becoming a naturalized American in the 1980s: “His family moved frequently during his childhood, spending time in the U.S. and England in addition to South Africa, and he credits their travels with widening his frame of reference” (Monticello.org).
– The ceremony starts is from 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. on Monticello’s West Lawn
– Tickets are free but must be reserved.
– Dress for hot, sunny weather!
– Live music will include the Charlottesville Municipal Band and the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums